Cuba was colonized by Spain in 1511 following the landing of Christopher Columbus.  Spain turned the colony into a supply base for further expeditions to Mexico and Florida.  Within decades of the Spanish arrival, harsh treatment and abuse of the native peoples drove them to the edge of extinction.  Spain was forced to rely on imported black slaves to operate the mines and plantations of Cuba and turned the island into a slave trade center for much of North America.

Jose Marti International Airport outside La Habana

The aging 737 owned by Groupo Taca comes in low over fields alternating between muted greens and the deep red-brown of Cuban soil.  Both roads and fields below seem empty.

The wheels touch the runway.  Aging Soviet jetliners sit beside the tarmac.  Some seem almost discarded - watching as Boeing and Airbus products steal their home.  Others wait for passengers and cargos not visible from our plane.

This flight continues on to Latin America, and only a few passengers disembark.  We appear to be the only citizens of the United States.